... I'm not sure if I got the correct mood with this, but I hope that its alright. Written for the kinkmeme - Romano loves Spain, and knows that Spain loves him, but his pride won't allow him to say the words "I love you" to Spain's face. However, if he turns out the light...


Spain was elbow-deep in dish soap and hot water when Romano had appeared in the doorway, head bowed and hands behind his back. Immediately, Spain's mind was on high alert. Though he was often chastised for being oblivious, he could tell when something was wrong with Romano. Because he cared about him. But he also would admit – grudgingly – that asking Romano about it directly would either teach him new vocabulary, or leave him with a bruise somewhere insidiously designed to keep him from sleeping comfortably for a long time.

"Hi, Lovi, I'm not done washing the dishes yet. But if you wait a second, when I'm done I'll get out the tiramisu and we can each have a really big slice, okay?" Romano's stance didn't change; or if it did, it was only to stiffen up even more. Spain frowned. "Um… Lovi…?" He really had no idea what to say. "Ah… help me dry these?"

And to Spain's surprise, Romano walked over to him. Spain reached out to him, offering the dishtowel, but instead Romano grabbed his wrist with one hand. He didn't move, just stood there, Spain's arm in a firm and slightly painful grip. Spain blinked. "Lovi, querido," his voice lowered. "Are you alright?"

"Leave the dishes, okay? It's my fucking house; you shouldn't be doing them anyway." The words lacked their usual fire, full of hesitancy and layered uncertainty. And Romano never offered to do his own housework.

So Spain dropped the dishtowel in the middle of the kitchen floor and followed Romano as he dragged the Spaniard upstairs. It was the only thing that he could do. His heart started to beat very quickly and made him a little dizzy because something was definitely wrong and it made the inside of his brain hurt to think that it was Romano who was suffering.

Romano's shoulders were a solid line of tension that Spain had the sudden urge to smooth. He didn't. Instead, he followed the form in front of him, walked inside the bedroom that smelled of dirty clothes and cloves and wheat and allowing himself to be guided over to the bed. Not once did the nation look Spain in the eyes.

"Sit."

That was all he said, and Spain obeyed, sitting cross-legged on the unmade duvet and leaning against the headboard. Romano shut the door tightly, locking it, and then closed the Venetian blinds, turning the slats backwards so that even the moon and stars could not peek inside. He shut the thick curtains in front of them. And then he turned out the light.

It was the kind of darkness that felt heavy, as if Spain were drowning. He couldn't see anything and his chest tightened with the tangibility of it all. He couldn't hold back a slight gasp at the complete blindness he felt.

"Romano…?" he asked. There was a creak of springs and a dip in the bed. "Romano?" And suddenly a warm body was practically in his lap, knees brushing and legs tangled as one warm, broad hand fitted itself over Spain's mouth. Immediately, Spain shut his mouth as well as his eyes, completing the illusion of blindness, of dumbness.

…The hand withdraws, sliding down his neck with clumsy fingers, running down his shoulder and tee-shirt, forearms, wrist, twining with his own hands in his lap. The other hand joins them and Spain is completely tangled in the presence in front of him.

He takes a moment to understand the feeling of a slightly smaller palm curled against his, the warmth and connection and freedom to run his thumb across smooth knuckles. He does so, once, twice, over and over in a soothing motion as he waits. But there is no sound.

"Lovi?"

The hand is back over his mouth again and he clamps his jaw shut with a click, wincing as his teeth crash together. The hand is removed and replaced by a single finger. A signal for silence. Spain is filled with a sudden thrill as the finger is slid across his bottom lip. Across his upper lip. Over and over, tracing, memorizing. Fingerpads dance up Spain's cheekbones and rest delicately at the corner of his eyes. He feels himself explored gently and he shivers, understanding. Light would allow him to be seen. And words made things too hard to say. Better to feel the reaction in Romano's unvoiced declaration.

Spain let a hand run up Romano's neck. His palm brushed gently against the nation's fluttering pulse. His touch was allowed with a shiver. Spain felt Romano lean his chin fully into the waiting palm that now cupped his cheek. The fragile tips of his eyelashes brushed Spain's fingertips. Spain didn't move any further.

There was a moment of suspension. Romano's weight shifted forward slightly, and his breath brushed Spain's face. Spain held his own breath, waiting, waiting.

Warmth.

Like the faint brush of warm water across his lips, once, gently. Then again, broad hands on his shoulders, holding the unbalanced weight leaning across his lap. Again, once more, but they stay connected this time. Romano's lips move against Spain's, pressure firm and hesitant. And Spain allows his hands to brush Romano's hips as he snakes them around his back and pulls the nation into his body so that they are flush up against each other, no space between them, leaning against the headboard.

It is a long moment, flashes of tongue, wet and smooth, before Spain's hands move again, sliding down Romano's back and into his trousers, triumphantly running along bare flesh. Romano gasps and moves as if to lean away, to break the kiss and yell, but miracle of miracles he doesn't. He lets one of his own hands fist into Spain's hair and the other slips under his tee shirt to trip over the bare skin of his sides. There are muscles there that shift and shiver with this new contact. Romano's hips grind down into Spain's, and Spain pulls him closer closer with every thrust. Hips roll, collide, slowly but heavily with sweet sweet friction between them. Spain has slid down so he is flat on his back on the bed, Romano over him, elbows on either side of his head and kissing him wetly, fiercely, as if years of pent-up passion are trapped inside every movement. Its true.

They have not said a word, but high little gasps fall from Romano's mouth and Spain himself can't suppress a groan as the fabric of his jeans drags over his erection, pressed by Romano's own hardness.

He is about to move to release them from the confines of their clothing when Romano pulls away from the kiss and buries his face in Spain's neck, biting down with a long whine. Something warm is between them now, and Spain realizes that Romano has come in his jeans as Romano stiffens and his breath speeds up in panic. The warmth of a blush is not seen but felt clearly against skin. The Italian sits up abruptly, as if to scramble away, but Spain grabs his wrists and pulls him down. Romano squirms, growling in a breathless way, so different from his normal anger, more like wanton mortification and arousal and he is shaking.

Spain breaks their silence. "I love you too. No matter what."

He lets go of Romano's arm and he flees, opening the door to the dark bathroom and closing the door. No light spills from under the door, but the showerhead sings and Romano is washing himself in the dark. Spain nods, closing his eyes again, and unbuttons his trousers and slides down his boxers, touching himself to the image of Romano doing the same in the shower. It's not long before he comes. He cleans himself up with his tee-shirt, tossing it to the floor and sliding his boxers back up. He covers himself with Romano's sheets and waits.

The showersong is over. The door opens with a squeak, then the sliding of drawers, and again there is a dip in the bed. Romano crawls over to him, and from the way their bodies touch ever so slightly Spain can tell he, too, wears only boxers.

"S-Spain," comes the whisper. Spain bites his lip and pretends to be asleep.

"Ci sei?" No response. "Antonio, caro…" A brush of lips. "I love you."

It is only then that Spain stirs, grabbing Romano and pulling him so that he is sprawled against the Spaniard's chest. Romano gasps but makes no other sound, burying his face in Spain's shoulder and tightening his arms. They both know.

They stay together like that until morning light ruins the illusion. And then it is too late to go back.